First ex-inmate gets professional license immediately under state initiative
Former inmate Landus Jackson of Mound City became the first ex-prisoner to secure a professional license to work immediately upon his recent release from the Vienna Correctional Center.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) both made the announcement.
Jackson earned a cosmetology license through a program created by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration, which allows inmates who complete requirements for barbering and cosmetology to apply for licensing up to six months in advance of their release dates, enabling them to be more self-sufficient after they serve their prison sentences.
“Today is a milestone as we look to build upon this regulatory revision aimed at reducing recidivism and providing career opportunities,” IDFPR Secretary Bryan Schneider said. “We commend Landus for his hard work and dedication, wishing him the best of luck as he joins the ranks of our Illinois licensed cosmetologists.”
Much planning work went into the initiative. When Rauner sought a way to lower recidivism, the state’s Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform advised streamlining inmate licensing procedures for convicts.
“I am extremely proud that Illinois is taking steps to improve outcomes for men and women who have been incarcerated,” IDOC acting Director John Baldwin said. “Everyone deserves a second chance, and that is exactly what Landus is getting today — a fair shot at finding employment that will increase his odds of not returning to IDOC custody.”